Friday, August 28, 2015

Weekend Reading: The It is Too Hot to Come up with a Theme Edition

Welcome to one of the hottest days of the year here in coastal San Diego! It is 84 degrees in my house right now. Wheeee!

Even better, Petunia got sent home from camp sick on Wednesday, and stayed home yesterday and today. Poor kid has had a fever during some really hot weather. So, let's just say that I've been struggling to get through my to do lists. On the plus side, I've gotten a lot of quality snuggles. On the downside, snuggles in this weather are sweaty.

However, I won't let that keep me from providing weekend reading for you!

First, a couple of blatant self-promotion items:

If you haven't read Unspotted yet, it is not too late! Early reviews are linked in the release day post. I've been busy lining up more reviews for it, but would also appreciate any help you're inclined to give. Buy it, suggest your library buy it (it is now available in Overdrive!), tell your friends about it....

Next week, I'll switch to telling you about Annorlunda Books' next release, but I'll still be working at promoting Unspotted, too.

Also: you have a couple of days left to sign up for one of my mailing lists for a chance to win either 168 Hours or What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast print edition (which also includes the other two books in that series). Both books are by Laura Vanderkam, and details of the giveaway are in last week's links post. Sign up for either my Founding Chaos or Management Monthly mailing list to enter. I'll pick the winner Sunday night.

OK, enough of that. Here are the links you came for:

This story about what happened to one woman who went on leave from Amazon to have a baby, and then to deal with cancer is terrible, although it seems to have a happy ending for her. Amazon is a really big company, and I'm sure there are pockets there in which it is great to work. But this sort of thing should not happen. It happens at places other than Amazon, too, and if we're ever going to have real, meaningful family leave, we need to work to make it not be a matter of luck whether you get the experience I had (came back from leave and integrated right back in, no problem) or the experience Julia Cheiffetz had.

On a more hopeful note, the Hugo Awards did not go to the dogs (or puppies), as it were... and I really like Arthur Chu's essay about that.

And in something straight out of a dystopian sci-fi plot, it looks like the men on Ashley Madison were mostly interacting with bots.

In other dystopian news, the Republicans are now talking about doing away with birthright citizenship. That is appalling. Here is a great essay about what birthright citizenship meant to a couple of immigrants from Canada.

The GQ profile of Stephen Colbert is really, really good.

Techies need to learn about politics if they really want to change the world. I thought this was a good article, but I think it missed one reason why techies don't get politics- they're mostly trained as engineers, and if there is one generalization I will make about engineers after a career of working with them and over a decade of being married to one: they tend to expect things to be logical, and more so, to follow rules of logic they have learned from mostly working with deterministic systems: i.e., if you put in the same input, you'll get the same output. Politics do not follow the rules of this sort of logic. It involves people, and people are not deterministic systems.

Coincidentally, the most recent xkcd comic sums up the problem nicely. I'm linking, not embedding, because you should read the mouseover.

This NY Times article about creative careers continue to be viable is worth your time. Read it in conjunction with this open letter from Amanda Palmer to one of her worried fans. And maybe also consider the string of tweets from a comic book creator that starts here:

She didn't thread her tweets, so you'll have to go to her timeline to read all of them, but as of right now, they are near the top.

Often when I post about racism here, we talk about what white people can do. This interesting article about what social science can tell us about overcoming racism is a good place to start thinking about that. More and more, I think one of the most important things I can do as a white person is try to get other white people to a place where they are open to learning about structural racism. As the article notes, it is not an easy lesson for us to learn.

Here is the first really good thing I've read about the 10 year anniversary of Katrina. I urge you to read it, too.

If you've heard about Margaret Sanger supporting eugenics and wonder what the full story is, this is a good summary of it.

This looks like an interesting idea- helping keep the landlords of NYC honest on heat.

Forget the kids- I may buy some of these bookends for my new office once it is ready. Or maybe I should build something bigger out of these blocks?

Seeing that Cool Mom Tech post reminded me that they had a good post about email for kids a couple of weeks ago, and I forgot to put it in my weekly roundup then. It adds some things I didn't cover in my own Ask Cloud post on the topic awhile back. One interesting thing that I noticed looking up that old post: I first tweeted about email when Pumpkin was seven, but she didn't get it until she was eight... and then it took me a couple more months to write about it. Things don't always move fast here.

Ending on an awww, since I don't have anything funny:

These little butterflies are so adorable I almost want to learn how to knit.

1 comment:

  1. fizzchick3:14 PM

    I also love the butterflies, but as a crafter, feel obliged to note they are crocheted, not knitted (1 stick with a hook, not 2 straight ones). San Diego is great for knitting, though - you have a yarn crawl coming up in a few weeks (like a pub crawl, but for crafty stores). You should see if there's nice store near you - I bet they'd love to teach you :-)


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